UCD go goal-mad to seal Ulster University Sigerson exit
Electric Ireland Sigerson Cup round three: Ulster University 3-10 University College Dublin 7-8
ULSTER University crashed out of the Sigerson Cup at the hands of a goal-hungry UCD tonight.
The win sees the Dublin students into the last eight as they aim to get their hands on the cup for the first time since 2018. It was a combined 5-5 from David Garland and Daire Cregg that did all the damage, with another goal from Garland from a 45 that slipped through the clutches of goalkeeper Odhran Lynch.
The visitors hit four first half goals to lead 4-3 to 2-5 at the break before blitzing UU early in the second half.
UCD were 3-10 to 2-11 winners when sides met in the Ryan Cup quarter-final back in November, a night when Roscommon’s Ben O’Carroll and Farney ace Garland scored a combined 2-7 for John Divilly’s side.
UU manager Barry Dillon made five changes from that defeat, including introducing Tyrone star Darragh Canavan and Conor Quinn, who helped Galbally reach the All-Ireland intermediate final.
The ball was in the back of the UU net for the first time when a high delivery from the sideline wasn’t dealt with and Cregg flicked the ball over the line.
Karl Gallagher and Danny Magill hit back with points for the home side before their first goal of the game. Conor Quinn and Andrew Gilmore put Canavan through and when he was fouled, fellow Tyrone forward Conor Cush put UU 1-2 to 1-0 ahead.
With minutes to the break, the game sprung into life. A run from corner back Liam Smith released Cregg who send blasted to the net for a 2-2 to 1-4 lead.
UU nearly hit back with a goal of their own, only for Gary O’Rourke to get down low to make an excellent save to deny Ronan McCaffrey, one of his two saves of the half.
Cregg then pulled a save out of Lynch, only for the Derry ‘keeper to let the resulting 45 from David Garland slip through his hands to the net.
UU did get a goal back before the break when Ryan Jones sped clear before beating O’Rourke at the near post, leaving the score 4-3 to 2-5 in UCD’s favour at the break.
UCD had the ball in the back of the net within a minute of the restart when they were turned over on their way out of defence, with Paul Tolan passing to Garland who bagged his side’s fifth goal.
He inflicted more pain on Ulster when he latched onto a long ball, totally unchallenged, before finishing emphatically home.
Garland added a point before Josh Largo Ellis replied for Ulster, but it was only a drop in the ocean.
UCD hit the net once again when Pearse Ruttledge found himself unmarked slot home, making the score 7-4 to 2-6.
With the game over as contest, Ulster substitutes Michael Gallagher, Conor McCrickard and Tom Close added points. Cush did manage a second goal in stoppage time when he forced to the net after Gary O’Rourke saved from his penalty.
UCD: G O’Rourke; L Smith, D McElearney (0-1), M Stone; K Kennedy, P O’Keane, B Cox; R Buckley, J Lynam; P Ruttledge (1-1), D Moriarty (0-1), S Coffey; D Cregg (2-2, 0-2 frees), P Tolan, D Garland (3-3, 0-1 free). Subs: L Breathnach for D Garland (blood sub, 26), C Feely for R Buckley (29), D Garland for B Cox (HT), F Clifford for K Kennedy (44), C Sugrue for P Tolan (53)
UU: O Lynch; C McColgan, R Magill, C Quinn; R Jones (1-0), R Convery, J Largo Elis (0-1); R McCaffrey, O Murdock; B McCarron, D Canavan, D Magill (0-1); A Gilmore (0-3, frees), K Gallagher (0-1), C Cush (2-1, 1-0 pen). Subs: M Gallagher (0-1) for C Quinn (39), J Donaghy for R Convery (39), C McCrickard (0-1) for D Magill (41), T Close (0-1) for A Gilmore (46), A Donaghy for O Murdock (50)
Referee: K Faloon (Armagh)